If you are hurt in an accident in which another party bears all or part of the blame, contact a personal injury lawyer right away. The statute of limitations in Louisiana for filing a personal injury lawsuit is just one year from the date of the accident, one of the shortest time limits in the country. That means time is of the essence if you want to protect your rights after getting hurt in an accident and receive the compensation you deserve.
Personal injury causes
Car accidents and other accidents involving motor vehicles are the primary cause of personal injuries, but many other types of accidents can cause serious harm. The most common include:
Lafayette personal injury lawyers at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers will advise you about the best options available to you based on the circumstances of the accident.
Call the police
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, always call the police, even if the collision appears minor. Even fender benders can leave occupants of a vehicle with lasting injuries. While it is vital to have a police report of a car crash, do not admit fault even if you think you may have contributed to the accident. It often turns out that issues beyond your control, such as faulty brakes on the other car, were the primary cause of the accident.
Seek medical attention
If you are hurt in an accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. That means either going to the emergency room or an urgent care facility, although in some cases your own doctor may see you. Even if you do not think you were badly hurt, do not try to “tough it out” or “wait and see.” Some injuries, especially those relating to whiplash or other musculoskeletal injuries, may not appear for 24 hours or more after the accident.
Failure to seek prompt medical attention may mean the responsible party’s insurance company will attempt to downplay the seriousness of your injuries, or even claim the injury was unrelated to an accident occurring on a client’s property or caused by the client.
While seeking medical attention is critical, so is following doctor’s orders. Do what the doctor tells you, and make sure to attend all follow-up appointments. If you stop following medical advice, such as not attending recommended physical therapy, not taking medications, or not using suggested medical equipment, the insurance company may again try to claim your injuries are not that serious.
Document, document, document
Documenting the accident scene is critical for your case. If you are able, use your smartphone to take photos and videos of the scene, taking note of weather conditions and any other factors that may have contributed to the accident.
If the accident involves a motor vehicle, get the driver’s license number, insurance information and contact information of the other driver, as well as contact information for any witnesses to the crash. The same holds true for other types of personal injury, such as a fall in a parking lot due to uneven paving or other trip hazards.
Write down or record your recollections of the accident immediately. Memories tend to fade, so your initial impression is often the most accurate.
If you were too seriously injured to document the scene, ask a relative or friend to go to the accident scene and take photos as quickly as possible.
The more information and evidence your personal injury attorney has, the more readily he or she can build a case. Evidence in personal injury cases often disappears because documentation was not prioritized right away. That may include nearby surveillance footage of the incident, which a commercial or private owner may only keep for short periods.
For your own records, document every accident-related expense, including the cost of over-the-counter medications and transportation back and forth from medical appointments.
Contact a personal injury lawyer
If you or a loved one were seriously hurt in an accident because of another party’s recklessness, negligence, or deliberate intent, you need the services of an experienced Lafayette car accident lawyer at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. There is no fee unless we win.